Expedition cruising: The ultimate family adventure holiday

Travel Advice

Expedition cruising offers the opportunity to travel far from the beaten path, but in the utmost comfort and style, making it the perfect choice for an adventurous family holiday.

With this in mind, we've put together a collection of exciting itineraries for those who want to go further, discover more and enjoy unforgettable travel experiences as a family. Whether you're traveling with tweens, teenagers or even fully grown adult children, each trip has been designed to offer something for everyone and cater to the various demands of a mixed age group...

1. Ecuador & The Galapagos

It's a long way to go, but if you can get past the 15-hour flight to Quito via Madrid (thank goodness for modern in-flight entertainment!) then a trip to the Galapagos makes for the most amazing family holiday. Spend some time exploring Quito before transferring to the Mashpi Lodge for a 3-night stay amongst the Ecuadorian cloud forest, then fly on to the Galapagos via the coastal city of Guayaquil. You'll board Lindblad Expeditions' newest Galapagos ship, the National Geographic Endeavour II, for a 7-night adventure visiting a number of islands.

In Bartolomé you can snorkel with Galápagos penguins, Santiago offers close encounters with Galapagos fur seals, and Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where there is a captive breeding program for giant tortoises. You'll also visit Isabela and Floreana to enjoy swimming, hiking, kayaking and deep water snorkelling as well as spotting marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, waved albatross (seasonal) and colourful marine iguanas. Finally visit Española to see Darwin's finches, sea lions and the famous blue-footed boobies.

14 nights from £11,995 per adult, departing 10 July 2017

Viewing sea lions on a family holiday to the Galapagos

2. Antarctica and Buenos Aires

Guarantee your family a white Christmas with a holiday to the end of the world! After a night in Buenos Aires you'll travel on to Ushuaia, Argentina's southernmost city, and embark on a 12 night voyage on board Hurtigruten's MS Midnatsol. After crossing the Drake Passage you have 8 days to explore the extraordinary Antarctic Peninsula.

You'll be taken ashore by sturdy Zodiacs for unforgettable wildlife viewing, visiting vast penguin rookeries and watching seals sunning themselves on the ice floes. Visit Deception Island and its old whaling station, watch whales from the deck or, for the more energetic, kayaking and longer hikes are available. The Young Explorer Programme introduces younger guests to the history and wildlife of the region, with lectures, field trips and visits to the science centre. Returning to Argentina, you'll leave the ship in Ushuaia and spend another two nights in Buenos Aires, giving you the chance to relax and enjoy this beautiful city while you reflect on your Antarctic adventure.

This 18 night package starts from £6,574 per adult, departing 19 December 2018.

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Penguin colony in Antarctica

3. Pacific North West and Seattle

This active family adventure catering to all ages begins with three nights in Seattle, before exploring coastal Washington state and the San Juan Islands with UnCruise Adventures. Overlooked by many visitors to America, Seattle combines a laid back atmosphere with a vibrant arts scene, excellent restaurants and some wonderful boutiques. You'll have plenty of time to explore before boarding the Wilderness Discoverer for a 7 night voyage where you can kayak and paddleboard in glacial fjords and winding island channels, and hike through temperate rainforest, state parks and on the slopes of Mount Constitution.

Look out for wildlife including whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles and sea birds. The cruise allows you to be as active as you like, choosing whether to explore ashore, take to the water or relax in the Jacuzzi on board. In the evening enjoy the relaxed and informal atmosphere, and perhaps a glass of craft beer on the nightly happy hour tastings from nearby breweries.

This 11 night package starts from £3,395 per adult, departing 12 April 2017.

View of Mount Baker from San Juan Islands, USA

4. Las Vegas & The Sea of Cortez

Familes with older children can combine the excitement of Las Vegas with the incredible marine life of Sea of Cortez. Spend four nights in Vegas, enough time to see the city or perhaps venture out to the extraordinary Grand Canyon National Park, before flying down to Mexico for a 7 night exploration of the Sea of Cortez, one of the world's top whale watching destinations.

See dolphins and rays leaping through the air; kayak, snorkel and explore the coastline on small skiffs; search out gray whales at Bahía Magdalena, where mothers come with their calves; swim with colourful reef fish and playful sea lion pups; and hike along cactus clad slopes and admire the raw desert beauty, with red rock cliffs and tiny fishing communities. In the evening you can relax and enjoy reliving the day's events over dinner or at the bar, spend some time stargazing out on deck, or relax in the cosy library with a book.

This 12 night package starts from £4,585 per adult, departing 30 January 2018.

Las Vegas, Nevada

5. Oslo & Svalbard

The Svalbard archipelago is one of the best places in the world to see polar bears in the wild, a remote cluster of islands situated well within the Arctic Circle. You'll begin your trip in the intriguing city of Oslo, Norway's capital, before flying to the island of Spitsbergen and the town of Longyearbyen, home to scientists and a few intrepid visitors. Here you'll board Hurtigruten's MS Spitsbergen for an epic 9 night voyage.

Explore glaciers, mountains and fjords in the west, and the barren High Arctic wilderness in the eastern part of Svalbard. Enjoy expedition landings, hikes, kayaking and other activities in the largest Arctic wilderness in Europe.

This 14 night package starts from £5,585 per adult, departing 13 July 2017.

Polar bear with cub in Svalbard, Norway

6. Alaska, Vancouver and Whistler

Exploring the coastal region to the west of the Rockies is a very special experience, with so much variety. After an overnight stopover in Seattle you'll fly to Anchorage and join Silversea's Silver Explorer in Seward for a 12 night journey along Alaska's stunning coast. Adventurous travellers can enjoy the opportunity to hike ashore with expert guides, who will introduce them to ancient forests and a rich cultural history. See bald eagles perch atop the tall pines, whales bubble feeding in the still waters and bears hunting for migrating salmon. This is Alaska away from the crowds, a true family adventure.

Your cruise ends in Vancouver, where an overnight stay allows time to discover this charming city before traveling to the mountain resort of Whistler. Usually thought of as a winter resort, Whistler has plenty to offer in the summer too, including mountain biking, walking and hiking.

This 18 night package starts from £7,995 per adult, departing 24 August 2018.

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Bald eagle over Homer, Alaska
Meet the author

Alex is Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Adventures, having worked with the company for 10 years and in travel for over 18 years. His most recent adventure was a cruise on Seabourn Venture and he has also sailed with Regent, Crystal, SeaDream, Tauck and Ponant. His favourite adventure destination is South America however he's also enjoyed adventures in Antarctica, the Western Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, India, Myanmar and South East Asia. When he’s not travelling he loves walking holidays; a favourite included a trek to Everest Base Camp.

More about Alex

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